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Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron Grantham

Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron Grantham, KB, PC (c. 1695 – 30 September 1770) was a British diplomatist and politician. He was a younger son of Sir William Robinson, Bt. (1655–1736) of Newby, Yorkshire, who was member of parliament for York from 1697 to 1722.


Early career

Having been a scholar and minor fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] Thomas Robinson gained his earliest diplomatic experience in Paris and then went to Vienna, where he was English ambassador from 1730 to 1748. During 1741 he sought to make peace between the empress Maria Theresa and Frederick the Great, but in vain, and in 1748 he represented his country at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. He was made a Knight Companion of the Bath in 1742.

Returning to England he sat in parliament for Christchurch from 1749 to 1761. In 1750, he was appointed to the Privy Council.

Southern Secretary

In 1754 Robinson was appointed Secretary of State for the Southern Department and Leader of the House of Commons by the prime minister, the Duke of Newcastle, and it was on this occasion that Pitt made the famous remark to Fox, "the duke might as well have sent us his jackboot to lead us." In November 1755 he resigned, and in April 1761 he was created Baron Grantham.

Later career

He was Master of the Great Wardrobe 1749–1754 and again 1755–1760, and was joint Postmaster-General in 1765 and 1766. He died in London on 30 September 1770.

He married Frances, daughter of Thomas Worsley of Hovingham, on 13 July 1737, and had two sons and six daughters. He was succeeded in the peerage by his eldest son, Thomas.

The town of Grantham, New Hampshire in the United States of America is named after Robinson.


  1. ^ Robinson, Thomas in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Frankland
William St. Quinton
Member of Parliament for Thirsk
With: Sir Thomas Frankland
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Frankland
Frederick Meinhardt Frankland
Preceded by
Edward Hooper
Charles Armand Powlett
Member of Parliament for Christchurch
1748 – 1761
With: Charles Armand Powlett 1748–1751
Lord Harry Powlett 1751–1754
Hon. John Mordaunt 1754–1761
Succeeded by
Hon. Thomas Robinson
James Harris
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The Earl Waldegrave
British Ambassador to Austria
1730 - 1748
Succeeded by
Robert Keith
Court offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Montagu
Master of the Great Wardrobe
1749 – 1754
Succeeded by
The Viscount Barrington
Preceded by
The Viscount Barrington
Master of the Great Wardrobe
1755 – 1760
Succeeded by
The Earl Gower
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Holdernesse
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
1754 – 1755
Succeeded by
Henry Fox
Preceded by
Sir Henry Pelham
Leader of the House of Commons
1754 – 1755
Preceded by
The Baron Trevor
The Baron Hyde
1765 – 1766
With: The Earl of Bessborough
Succeeded by
Viscount Hillsborough
The Baron le Despencer
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Baron Grantham
1761 – 1770
Succeeded by
Thomas Robinson


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